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Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter

There are many schools of thought on what to look for before you hire a pet sitter. Does your pet sitter have a backup person when they become ill?  Does your pet sitter have an Inclement Weather clause?   How will your pets be cared for? Does the pet sitter have experience? Or, is the person a ‘Hobby Sitter’?   Below is a list written  by a PSI member on what to look for before you hire a pet care provider.

The following was written by:  Beth Stultz of Pet Sitters International

Hiring A Professional Pet Sitter. What you need to know!
Posted by Beth Stultz | © Pet Sitter International

Anyone can hang out a shingle and call themself a pet sitter. We understand that with
increased competition, professional pet sitters must separate themselves from nonprofessional
pet sitters often call hobbyist pet sitters and educate pet owners about what
to look for in a pet-care service. Professionals earn the pet-owning public’s trust and
loyalty by consistently using these practices: So, what makes a pet sitter a professional pet
sitter?
A professional pet sitter:

  • Maintains current and adequate bonding and liability insurance.
  • Visits the client’s home before the first pet-sitting assignment to meet the pets and obtain/record detailed information about specific needs.
  • Provides materials or online access to descriptions of services and fees.
  • Utilizes a legally compliant, written service contract to clarify services, fees, visit schedule, time allocated per visit and all other agreements, thereby establishing clear expectations in advance for both parties.
  • Takes precautions to make sure a client’s absence from home is not detectable because of careless actions or disclosures by the sitter.
  • Has systems in place to ensure the security of home keys in his or her possession.
  • Confirms client’s return and has pre-agreed arrangements for continued care in the event that the client is delayed or detained by emergency.
  • Has a contingency plan for pet care in case of inclement weather or personal illness.
  • Solicits service feedback from clients and responds appropriately.
  • Responds to client inquiries and complaints promptly.
  • Has a veterinarian on call for emergency service.
  • Is courteous, interested and well-educated in the disciplines of pet sitting.
  • A professional pet sitter:
  • Learns as much as possible about the routines, behaviors and needs of animals in his or her care.
  • Has adequate experience in caring for pets and is knowledgeable in pet first aid to best protect their safety and well-being.
  • Understands and upholds local ordinances and laws applicable to animals in their service areas.